Electric stove tops are very user-friendly and reliable appliances for several reasons. They tend to be safer to use than gas ranges, and they are very low maintenance.
One of the worst things about them, though, is that they can burn on the surface of the cooktop, leaving a layer of stuck-on grime and food that is unpleasant to look at. What is more, when you turn on the singed burner, it may start to smoke and smell unpleasant.
Let’s look at some of the best methods for cleaning the burned matter off an electric stove top. Keep the items for your favorite cleaning method handy, and you’ll never need to worry about it again.
Try Scraping First
The simplest solution is usually the best, and that’s no different when it comes to cleaning burns off of your electric stove top. Before you use any other substances and chemicals, try just scraping the burned-on gunk and grime.
We recommend using a plastic scraper for this job. Without applying too much pressure, try scraping off as much of the burn as you possibly can while frequently wiping with a damp paper towel or cleaning rag (a microfiber rag is the gentlest).
It’s a good idea to scrape the burn before using any other cleaning method discussed below, even if you know you’re going to need something more heavy-duty. That way, whatever cleaner you use will have a bit of an easier job.
The Best Method Without All the Chemicals: Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the best substances for cleaning because of its effectiveness and because it is free from many of the harsh chemicals that other cleaning products contain. That’s one of the reasons that we love using baking soda for all sorts of uses and purposes.
Another reason is that it is so inexpensive, and most people have it in their homes already (if not, find it in the baking section of your supermarket). What could be simpler than that?
To use baking soda to clean a burnt stove top, follow these steps:
- Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the burned sections of the electric stove top. Regular baking soda that you use in cooking or that you use to deodorize your fridge will work perfectly.
- Add a little bit of water to the baking soda. Add just enough to make a paste. The exact amount will differ depending on the degree of the burn you’re trying to clean.
- Cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit for 30 minutes. This rest period gives the baking soda time to permeate the grime and break it down.
- Wipe away the stain.
If the burned-on gunk does not wipe away quickly after the 30 minutes have elapsed, you can add a few drops of white vinegar to the baking soda; just enough to get it sizzling. It should come clean at that point.
If your stove top is still stubbornly holding onto the stain, there is one more method you can try with baking soda. This time, you will also need Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide.
Apply the Dawn dish soap to the affected area generously. Next, sprinkle baking soda on top of it; you should still be able to see the dish soap underneath the baking soda, so not too much.
Add one to two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (you might want to add it slowly, one at a time). Using a scrubbing brush, gently scrub the mixture to combine all of the ingredients and coat the burn.
Let it sit for about five minutes, and then scrub a little bit more. Wipe away.
Use Soft Scrub Surface Gel
You might use this item more commonly in your bathroom to clean showers, but it works just as well on a glass cooktop. While wearing rubber gloves, pour a generous amount of the product onto the stove top.
Use a coarse rag or scrub brush to scrub the burn off of the cooktop gently. If it doesn’t come out easily, you may need to use more force.
Of course, a store or generic brand version of Soft Scrub should work just as well.
Bar Keepers Friend
Bar Keepers Friend is a company that has been manufacturing cleaning products since 1882, so they know what they’re doing. They make their products for commercial uses, so they’re also ultra heavy duty.
They have many great products for cleaning cooked on grease and burned-on grime off of glass and ceramic cooktops. You will see their name pop up if you search for products to do this task for you.
The downside? While they don’t contain bleach or chlorine, their products are made from several other somewhat harsh chemicals.
Products Made Specifically for Electric Stove Tops
In addition to the remedies above, several brands and types of cleaners are made specifically to get burned-on food and other particles off of electric stove tops. Let’s take a look at a few of the highest-rated on the market right now.
- EZ Brite Glass and Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner and Conditioner: this gel is great for cleaning off cooked-on grime, as well as shining up the appearance of your stove top. It’s best to use for stains, burns, and routine maintenance; about once a week should be sufficient.
- Affresh cooktop cleaning wipes: if you’re looking for something super easy to use, look no further than these all-in-one wipes. However, they may not hold up as well under heavy scrubbing.
- Zep heavy-duty citrus cleaner: this is our first choice for a spray cleaner. As a degreaser, it works wonders on your burn, especially if you have a fat substance such as oil burned onto the stove top. You can also efficiently utilize this as an everyday product for cleaning your stove top, countertops, and more.
What Not to Do and Use
There are a few substances and materials that you should not try to use to clean a burn from an electric stove top, or at the very least, that you should use extreme caution.
The first is eraser sponges (commonly referred to by one of their brand names, Magic Erasers). These work well, but they can also scratch the surface of your cooktop; if you decide to try them, do so very gently.
The second is bleach, and this is because bleach is such an abrasive substance. It can also damage your stove top, so use a different cleaner instead when it is dirty (it’s also bad to use on a number of other surfaces).
You should also avoid any abrasive cleaners and scrubbers in general. Otherwise, though you may be able to remove the burn, you might end up scratching the surface of your cooktop, which can be permanent and that’s even worse than the burn was in the first place!
Some of the items you should not use on an electric stove top include steel wool, scouring pads, and course brushes. You should even exercise caution when using the course side of a standard kitchen sponge.
Electric Coil Stove Tops
Thus far, we have mainly discussed glass electric stove tops, though most of these methods are also applicable to electric coil stove tops. But let’s look at a suitable method that is specific to cleaning the coils themselves.
The best thing to do is to wipe the coils thoroughly with a dry, microfiber cloth. Then, heat them and allow any remaining burnt-on grime to simply burn off.
This process might smoke a little, so turn on your exhaust fan and open the windows. If any food or other junk remains on the coils, wipe them again and repeat the process if you need to.
To clean the reflector pans that sit underneath the coils, simply remove them and wash them in grease-fighting dish soap, such as Dawn. Some people wrap them in aluminum foil to protect them and prevent them from becoming dirty, and you can also buy replacements at most superstores and online.
Upkeep Is the Key
The best way to keep your electric stove top free from burns is routine maintenance. Be sure to wipe it down with a glass-friendly cleaner after each use (as soon as it has cooled).
We already stated that you should avoid bleach, but be cautious about using all-purpose cleaners as well; check all of the ingredients carefully. They might leave your cooktop looking cloudy and smudged, or they may even contain substances that can permanently scratch or damage it.
We recommend using a homemade cleaner on your cooktops, such as vinegar and water. Not only is this safer for the stove top itself, but you also don’t need to worry about yucky chemicals getting into your food or the air when you turn your stove on.
In addition, if something does spill while you’re cooking, do your best to mop or sop it up with a towel, being very careful not to burn yourself.
Taking proper care of your electric stove top will help you ensure that it will last you a long time. That way, you can make all kinds of delectable culinary delights on it without the worry!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.